NEW ORLEANS -- The tomb long thought to be the grave of legendary voodoo queen Marie Laveau is now surrounded by fencing, and gleaming like brand new, delighting repair project organizers from the Archdiocese and Save Our Cemeteries.
"I'm just so pleased. It looks like when it was built," said Amanda Walker with Save Our Cemeteries. "It's beautiful. They did an excellent job, and they did it right."
"It's very important because when so many people come into this cemetery, that's the tomb they go straight for, and for it to be restored and look so nice now, it's just wonderful," said Archdiocese Cemeteries Director Sherri Peppo.
In December the tomb was coated with pink latex paint. There was severe damage, so the Archdiocese and Save Our cemeteries hired restoration experts at Bayou Preservation.
"We basically had to rebuild the roof, put all new plaster around the tomb, clean the marble several times to get rid of those markings," said Bayiou Preservation Founder Michelle Duhon.
"She actually had the original plaster tested to make sure that her plaster was as close as possible," Walker said.
Restoring the tomb is a $10,000 project. In Action Reports this summer, we worked with Save Our Cemeteries to raise the funds needed to pay for the work.
"After the report we got a few hundred dollars that day actually," said Walker. "We still need about $3000, but we are going to have some tables set up for All Saints Day and Halloween."
Security cameras are now in place to discourage vandals from marking the tomb and defacing it by scrawling three Xs on it.
"Oh, I'm very impressed," said tour guide Nate Scott. "It's like having a brand new house that Ed McMahon may have given you, and nobody comes around to write their name on it."
To donate to the restoration project, call Save Our Cemeteries at 525-3377, or visit their website at www.saveourcemeteries.org.